August 14, 2013

Knitting

Quick Links: Clothing and Accessory Patterns, Support & Tutorials, Private Knitting Lessons

 

If you have been learning about me through this website, the About page mentions the SEARCH program I entered in 2007 – one of the final assignments in the program was to set a goal to be met by the end of the four weeks, something specific, concrete, and attainable.  My goal?  Have a knitting pattern ready to be sold in local shops.

The pattern was the Stitch Sampler Bag, a design that had started life as stitch sampler blocks that I used in a knitting class at Urban Yarns.  Worked seamlessly from the top down in chunky cotton from Blue Sky Alpacas, this bag features eight blocks of various stitch patterns (cables, smocking, ribbing) with wedge-shaped side panels of seed stitch and stocking stitch borders.  I knew that some knitters prefer working from graphs, and others would turn away from anything without written instructions, so I struggled through both and wound up with a six-page pattern.

Photos were next, and capturing the stitch details on a cream-coloured bag was a challenge!  This was where I learned the value of side-lighting, to generate more shadows and help the textures pop!  Layout and design was easier, as this type of work had been a big part of my job while working at the UBC Aquatic Centre, though I was sidelined for a few hours as I searched for just the right font to use for my patterns.  “Mixage” stood out for its clean lines, good readability, and beautiful curves, and after making decisions on font colour and title sizes, I was done!

That first pattern was printed on a natural/unbleached stock, and I have since moved to a brighter, easy-to-read white cardstock.  I have plans to cut down on the environmental footprint of my patterns in a few ways:  move to the best paper I can find in my price range, build my online pattern PDF sales, and cut down on shipping by offering retailers the option to purchase a yearly license to distribute my designs in PDF form, so shoppers can buy a pattern at their local yarn shop and have the PDF provided through email.

My current designs come from various sources – working in a yarn shop puts me in front of new, luscious yarns all the time, and since the shop needs samples, I get to play and see what happens!  Additional inspirations include my study of other crafts – I have been learning to weave, and have found knitted fabric to be an excellent base for needle weaving – as well as looking at modern and retro fashions.

Along with my self-published work, I have also produced a number of patterns for Twist Collective, Knitscene, and books produced by independent publishers. Visit my designer page on Ravelry to see everything in my portfolio!

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